When one of our Hillians recently asked if he could help, we asked him to share his thoughts in the form of a blog to help us all stay connected. We are grateful for his words below.
Like many in the current straightened times, daily exercise becomes a focus point. One of my walks takes me past a stand of Horse Chestnut trees and their huge sticky buds are just starting to break open. They emerge looking like multiple clones of Norman Foster’s “Gherkin” in the City of London, emerging to produce fresh green fronds , looking like tiny palm trees. They are very delicate but rapidly grow into the familiar shape of the leaves we know from childhood as belonging to the Conker Tree. Soon after this event, other buds begin to form that lead to the flowering candle shaped heads.
I look for them to appear every year as they remind me of the row of Horse chestnut trees planted along the bottom of the playing field facing the Top School buildings and the Chapel. They were a consistent feature that I looked for every year, as they had been planted with some care and faith to eventually flower as alternative pink and white blooms in the row of trees.
And Kingham is still a place where care and faith is woven through the fabric of school life inherited and passed down from a remarkable man, Charles Edward Baring Young. Like the person who planted those trees, he had a vision, carried through years, that included two World Wars , recession and a raft of other events that fanned the flames of anxiety in so many. The Founder knew that his heavenly father was more than enough for any event and must have been familiar with 1 Peter, chapter 5 v 6: You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern (JB Phillips).
Proof, if proof was needed, that he fully got this verse was in the life he led and the faith he demonstrated. And here we are in another world event that generates fear and anxiety.
It looks like a word for our times doesn’t it?